I’ve been interested in food ever since I became a vegetarian the summer after I graduated from college. It was my gateway drug to foodie-ism and to all things healthy and environmentally sound. The impetus was an offending pork chop that I picked up from the A&P. It was disgusting. Turned me off to meat for a good ten years, until one day I had a craving for a pan-fried steak. Wise, by then, to the ways of good food, I drove myself directly to Whole Foods and bought a delicious if pricey grass-fed, hormone free steak which I fried up in an iron skillet with fresh rosemary and olive oil. Best meal I’ve ever had. I’ve been a dedicated omnivore ever since, though my vegetarian days have left their beautiful mark.
Tags: An Everlasting Meal, Farm To Table, Farmers Markets, Food, Food Policy, Locavorism, Mark Bittman, Sustainability, Tamar Adler, The Life
Growing up, I underestimated the importance of the kitchen, but after seven year’s of living in New York, a place where kitchens are notoriously small — and where I had the fortune of having two gloriously large ones, and the edifying experience of having one infinitesimally small one — I came to understand what a kitchen is worth and what it means.
The kitchen really is the beating heart of the home. The things you make there bind you to the people who gather in ways that restaurant meals just don’t. I was reminded of the importance of kitchens again over the holidays, when both sides of my family — our mothers, two of our four siblings and three of our five nieces and nephews — gathered around the dinner table in our home. While his younger siblings slept, our three year old nephew sat at the adult table and ate the adult food. It was a first for him, and he recounted it excitedly the following day. He may not remember that evening, but we always will.
Tags: Home, Kitchens, The Life, Windsor Smith
Happy Christmas! If I had my druthers, I’d be spending Christmas someplace like this. I love the pile of firewood. I love the sense of snow on the ground. I envision myself snuggled up in flannels and long-johns and faux fur-lined boots, sipping a warm mug of cider and gazing out at the mountainous woods.
Tags: Christmas, Home, The Life
Kinfolk is a magazine, a blog, a roving dinner party, a “movement” I first learned about about a year ago. It’s one of the most heartfelt, organic, beautiful things I’ve seen, a testament to what we can create when we create from a place of love, and bring forth the things of our heart.
As they say in their manifesto, Kinfolk is “a growing community of artists with a shared interest in small gatherings.” They feel that entertaining should be “simple, uncomplicated and less contrived” — and they’ve created a whole universe in which the world they envision comes true a thousand times and in a thousand different ways.
Tags: Community, Entertaining, Kinfolk Magazine, The Life
Here in California, where the seasons are decidedly subtle, I mark fall’s arrival not so much by the weather (which may or may not turn cool), but by the arrival of winter squash. My perennial favorite is butternut squash. It can form the hearty backbone of a vegetarian feast, or provide the perfect accompaniment to any roasted or braised meat.
The easy way to prepare butternut squash is to simply slice it in half with a large, sharp knife, scoop out the seeds and drizzle it with a little olive oil. Toss it in a preheated 400 degree oven for about an hour and finish with a little sprinkle of salt.
If you can invest a little more prep time, slice the butternut into disks or chunks and roast it for 30 minutes in a 475 degree oven along with some spanish onions, purple onions, red and yellow bell peppers, and tomatoes. It’s absolute decadence. The flavors caramelize, and leaving the vegetables in their skins while they cook adds a depth of flavor that can’t be gotten any other way. I learned this way of cooking butternut squash from Clare Ferguson’s Simply Good Food. She calls it “Spanish Roasted Vegetable Salad” and I share her recipe here:
Tags: Butternut Squash, Food, In Season, Locavore, Locavorism, Seasonal Ingredients, Spanish Roasted Vegetable Salad, The Life